As a response to Isabel Hofmeyr's book Gandhi's Printing Press, this essay examines Indian diasporic print culture, in order to both appreciate the magnitude of Hofmeyr's contribution and to challenge some of the book's generalizations. It considers the wider political economy of print in which Gandhi's printing press operated; the reception and agency among the readers of Gandhi's print products; and the comparable if considerably more modest print figure from East Africa at some length, in order to draw out important continuities and divergences among these diasporic printing presses. By examining Hofmeyr's Gandhi in light of the Indian newspaper landscape of East Africa about which I am familiar, I hope to draw some comparisons about the purpose and meaning of print and reading culture between these two Indian diasporic contexts.
Print, Reading, and Patronage in the Colonial-Born Presses of the Indian Diaspora in Africa
James R. Brennan; Print, Reading, and Patronage in the Colonial-Born Presses of the Indian Diaspora in Africa. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2015; 35 (2): 369–375. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-3139156
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